UK

Saudi Arabia Denies Ali Al-Khawahir Is To Be Paralysed In Eye-For-An-Eye Punishment

09/04/2013 15:10 BST | Updated 09/04/2013 15:24 BST

Saudi Arabia has said reports authorities had sentenced a man to be surgically paralysed as an eye-for-an-eye punishment are "untrue' and "fabricated".

Ali al-Khawahir was just 14 when he attacked his friend, paralysing him from the waist down.

It had been reported al-Khawahir was to be punished under the Saudi law of retribution, qisas, unless he could pay one million riyals (£250,000) in compensation.

The Saudi Ministry of Justice denied this was the case on its official Twitter account on Monday.

It said: "This is untrue. This was sentence handed down by the judge who dismissed the request of such punishment."

The case provoked outrage across the world by governments and human rights charities when originally reported last week.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: "We urge the Saudi authorities to ensure that this grotesque punishment is not carried out. Such practices are prohibited under international law and have no place in any society."

Khawahir has spent the last 10 years in prison during which time his 60-year-old mother has campaigned for someone to raise the compensation needed to save her son.

She said: “Ten years have passed with hundreds of sleepless nights. My hair has become grey at a young age because of my son’s problem.

"I have been frightened to death whenever I think about my son’s fate and that he will have to be paralysed," reports the Saudi Gazette.